The Humming Effect, Sound Healing for Health and Happiness
by Jonathan and Andi Goldman
By Carol Baglia, RRT, AE-C, BBET
One of my clients recommended this book to me. I wanted to learn more about humming since I had been teaching it routinely for years as part of breathing retraining and my client seemed to know more about it than I did. The authors claim that this is the first book on the subject and was published in 2017, ISBN 9781620554845. The well-credentialed writers claim that “Humming many be one of the most powerful natural abilities that we possess.”
Everyone can hum and experience the extraordinary benefits that can result from their own self-created sound. Humming is simply sound vibrations so the book starts with explaining how and why sound can heal. Humming can act as an internal sonic massage. Humming induces parasympathetic dominance with the Vagus nerve. I knew of the benefits of sound vibration for moving mucus and nitric oxide production but learned that there is a much longer list of therapeutic effects such as increased lymphatic circulation, increased levels of melatonin, the release of endorphins, release of oxytocin, reduced levels of stress hormones, plus more.
The recommendations in this book were spot on aligning with Buteyko teachings such as sitting posture, diaphragmatic breathing, nasal breathing, doing humming in 5-minute sessions, and relaxation. I was thankful to find this information that enhanced what I was teaching without contradictions.
The authors provide a link to online recordings of vocal examples for some of the exercises they present. The one that I liked the most was the Constant Hum which was a recording of many people humming simultaneously so that it sounded like a beehive and you could hum along or just listen and let the sound waves work.
You can’t hum if your nose is blocked. Try it. In fact, not only must your nose and sinus cavity be open in order to hum most effectively, it is considered necessary by most vocal experts to have your mouth closed as well. If you open your mouth as you hum, the volume of the sound you are making increases, but the feeling of the sound vibrating fades. Sound does not have to be loud to create resonance or vibration.
I learned that making noise that is comfortable for that person is what is best. Hum in a manner that suits you. I wasn’t in the habit of blocking my ears with the humming but understand this to be a mudra in yoga practices. I liked the way it intensified the feeling of vibration. One suggestion was to gently block each ear by pressing on the cartilage at the ear opening.
I found this book to be a quick read and great addition to my Buteyko practice and library. I hope you do too.
All Breath Notes
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